Matthew Rehwoldt has nothing but positive things to say about the members of the SmackDown roster during his time with WWE.
Formerly Aiden English in WWE, Rehwoldt was called up to the main roster in April 2016 and eventually drafted to SmackDown a few months later in July. Speaking with the Wrestling Perspective Podcast, Rehwoldt reflected on the people assigned to the blue brand during his time there and said that it was stacked with genuinely good people.
"In that regard, I was extremely lucky," he said. "I consider myself extremely lucky. Most of my run up there -- As soon as I came up they started bringing that brand split back, so I did a little bit of Raw/SmackDown, but then they did the split that summer right after we came up. I was on SmackDown the entire time. I never went to Raw. I don't know what it was -- if it was producers or the writing teams who just got what they wanted, but man, SmackDown, as far as -- I mean as talent in-ring, you know, but as humans, we got the kit and caboodle as far as all the good brothers went. We had such great dudes."
One of those good brothers was John Cena. Rehwoldt thanks Cena for helping him when he didn't have to and also praised his work ethic, noting how he would stay at Gorilla and watch every single match from beginning to end.
"Cena was just awesome. He's one of those guys where it almost makes you mad because he's so successful, and so good, and carries it all so well that you almost want him to be a total asshole. But he's really cool and he would actually sit down with me at TV's and be like, 'Hey, are you booked? Are you working tonight?' [I'd say] 'No.' He's like, 'Why not?' Then I'd say something and he'd be like, 'Well that's not why,' and he would help me work through things. He'd be, 'Well you need to do this. Tell them this. Do this.' Me! I'm nobody. We would bond over playing piano because he was learning classical piano because apparently, he didn't have enough to do. He legit was a guy who would sit at Gorilla and watch every single match from the dark match to 205 Live on days when he was there," Rehwoldt shared.
In addition to Cena, Rehwoldt singles out the likes of Luke Harper, who sadly passed away last year, as other great people to be around. He said the following:
"Our whole locker room. I don't know if I'll have enough time to say everyone who was just a good dude. Huge, huge, huge love to Brodie Lee. Luke Harper was such a good brother. One of the true people I call a friend. Him, his wife, his children; friends. Not just like a good dude in the locker room. Absolute friend. Gem of a human being. Such a fun guy to be around. All the time I got to spend with him is something I'll always remember.
Sami Zayn is such a weird, awesome, super cool guy. Him and Kevin Owens were great. New Day. I got to spend so much time with New Day both in the ring and out. Those guys freaking rule. The Usos freaking rule. Like our locker room was stacked with good dudes."
While things were fun on the blue brand, the same couldn't necessarily be said for Monday Night Raw, which according to Rehwoltd, was a more stressful environment to be a part of.
"We would always hear, and there were a bunch of people on Raw who were great too, but we would always hear everyone on Raw being, 'It was so stressful here today.' 'It's all this. It's all that.' Raw was [stressful] because Raw was, still is kind of is looked at as the flagship, and we were over here like, 'We're playing video games with Woods' Up Up Down Down channel and chilling in the locker room.' I don't remember there ever being a bad time," he said.
One final name that came up was Randy Orton, who Rehwoldt said took a lot of interest and time with him. He said this:
"Randy Orton was another one who took a lot of interest and time with me and I got to work with a lot during the Rusev Day stuff. So, man, there was a plethora of really great dudes in that locker room, most of the time I was up there."
Rehwoldt was released by WWE on April 15, 2020. He recently made his return to the ring at IMPACT Homecoming where he teamed with Deonna Purrazzo to become IMPACT's Homecoming King and Queen.
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